Convicted Hoaxer Jussie Smollett Facing Multiple Lawsuits: Chicago Police Sue For $130K


A jury’s guilty verdict that Jussie Smollett faked a racist and homophobic attack isn’t the end of legal proceedings for the former “Empire” actor or others.

Jussie Smollett, 39, was convicted Thursday of five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack near his home in downtown Chicago. He maintains his innocence, and his attorney has said he will appeal the verdict.

While the charges carry a possible sentence of three years in prison, legal experts have said Smollett is unlikely to get prison time for the low-level felonies, and is more likely to be sentenced to probation and ordered to perform community service. Judge James Linn didn’t set a sentencing date, but scheduled a Jan. 27 hearing for post-trial motions and said he would schedule sentencing after that.

Meanwhile, lawsuits that were on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case may now move forward. They include a lawsuit the city of Chicago filed against Smollett to recoup over $130,000 it spent investigating what police initially believed was a terrible hate crime.

Here’s a look at some remaining cases:

Chicago sued Smollett in April 2019, after he refused to pay $130,106.15 to reimburse the city for police overtime and other costs spent on the investigation.

The city demanded the payment shortly after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped the original charges against Smollett for lying to police about the attack. The move by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx infuriated then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who lashed out at Smollett for dragging the city’s reputation “through the mud” and wasting police resources on a hoax.

The lawsuit says the city “incurred significant costs” investigating the high-profile alleged hate crime, and seeks reimbursement from Smollett for 1,836 hours of police overtime.

A federal judge stayed proceedings pending the outcome of the criminal case after a special prosecutor investigated and new charges were filed against Smollett in February 2020.

In April 2020, U. S. District Court Judge Virginia Kendall also dismissed a countersuit filed by Smollett against the city, former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, detectives on the case and two brothers who told police he recruited them for the fake attack.

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His attorneys said Chicago couldn’t go after Smollett for the cost of the investigation because the city accepted his $10,000 bail as “payment in full… (Read more)

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